I was actually on time, which, let’s just say, is more rare than a Pittsburgh blue. Given our two seasons here in Seattle, August and the rest of the year, it was a pleasant surprise. As I approached SAM (Seattle Art Museum) I didn’t see a group of eager people awaiting their culinary-filled day. In fact, there wasn’t a single person waiting anywhere in the vicinity of the museum. I walked around a bit, thinking I could not be the only one here. As I came full circle around the corner I made eye contact with eyes that might be saying, “Are you here for the…?” She was, I was, and there was no one else to be found. “She” was Sarah from http://oc2seattle.wordpress.com/. We waited, and waited. I finished my coffee, and we concurred it was late enough that we were in the wrong spot. Thank God Sarah knew the tour might start out at Taste, or we could have missed the whole thing. We headed in and there everyone was, eyes focused on the learning that had already begun. We slinked in a seat. Jan Marie handed us reusable Seattle Bites bags with a smile, filled with tour information, paper cups, and utensils. No scolding us because we were late:) We only missed the first ten minutes or so, introductions and such. Relief.
We were off! I tried to figure out who everyone was on our way into Taste, matching faces with their blog pictures. Checked out everyone’s cameras, and walked into a bustling Taste. Having been a waitress, I knew how annoying/frustrating our placement was in the restaurant. Directly in the way of pretty much everything, and still we were met by nothing but smiles from the entire staff. Even if it was fake, I couldn’t have managed it. I could have stayed here all day. Local, sustainable, organic, just plain everything that is good, they do. The attention to detail would seem overwhelming to some, but ironically makes it super simple to walk in and not have to worry about which ecosystem they are harming, or land they are destroying, because they aren’t. So you can walk in with a wet appetite, and leave with a clear conscience.
We ate crepes at Crepes de France, which were probably my least favorite of the day, then onto vegetable samosas from Saffron Spice, which was one of my favorites, enjoying soda from the Dry Soda Co. along the way.
Being from the East coast, the word deli means something. It is not just a place where you throw some meat and cheese on some bread, slather on some white or yellow stuff, and call it a day. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by I Love New York Deli’s sandwich. I want to have another one before I make final judgment, but for now I can give it a big thumbs up. Good pickle too.
You’ll notice how there is no picture of the bread bowl full of chowder. After tasting chowder from Pike Place Chowder on the tour I knew I would be back for more. There are some places I wrongly avoid due to the influx of tourists to it. I am starting to change this policy. This may be close to taking over my love of Lowell’s chowder. Jim and I went for a visit, and before I could get a picture Jim was down to the bread bottom. Words. None. Bread bottom 🙂 I am of both schools of chowder. Sometimes I crave creamy, sometimes tomato. Jim shuns the Manhattan. A mistake I think on his end.
Already in chowder enlightenment, the guys next to us were leaving and offered us an extra Pepsi they got and didn’t drink. Little did they know I was secretly wanting a Pepsi more than anything while chowdering. Low on cash, we opted not to get one, so this kindness of strangers made our day. Cherry on top – it wasn’t diet!
Back to the tour.
We stopped at Uli’s for sausage, which I usually love, but was kind of disappointed with. It was overcooked, cold, and served with a berry spread that didn’t quite work. I didn’t hold it against them, their sausage is good otherwise.
I have never had smoked salmon before. I know, I know. Seattle. Been here for ten years. Salmon. Good news is I loved it! Pure Food Fish gained a few points that they had previously lost from me. Two spoiled lobsters= sadness, and $!
A stop for some fruit at Corner Produce. (My heart belongs to Frank’s, but the guys here are very nice.)
Seattle Coffee Works opened fairly recently, and I appreciated it because it wasn’t Burntbuck’s, but with Le Panier, and Monorail downtown, I haven’t been in need of a new coffee joint. I would like to go back for another tasting, there is so much to learn. I also heard they have an amazing cupcake. It’s on my list.
We ended at La Buona Tavola for some wine tasting. I may have things out-of-order or didn’t include every detail, but I don’t want to give away the cow with milk. Go and have fun, and have your own secret details to tell. Maybe it was the coffee, but I could have toured for five more hours. Jan Marie may disagree. She must get exhausted. Fortunately she had her right hand man near her side that day. I had no idea what to expect from the tour. It could have been boring, full of things I already knew, full of humorless humor. It was none of those things. Jan Marie must truly love giving the tour because it shows in her words, and smiles. She shows a passion for the market, and the people to whom she is talking. You forget she does this all week. You are not just another group. I felt comfortable enough to ask questions, and make jokes, which I don’t always do. The tour is so stimulating I didn’t know whether to chew, take a picture, ask a question, or listen, and forget about taking notes. It was great to meet other bloggers, and people from Seattle. The tour changes bites a bit, so I can’t wait to go again. The tour is about more than just food. It’s about people, and history. But you can’t eat people or history, so go for the food!
Here are some of the bloggers who joined me on the Seattle Bites tour:
I love seeing unique perspectives of the same tour.